Promote an Accessible and Equitable Transportation System

Many residents of the Atlanta region live in areas with low access to transit, or where people own few cars, making access to jobs and services difficult. Specifically, as our aging population grows and some no longer drive, accessing daily needs will be more of a challenge. It is vital to maintain and expand the comprehensive transportation system to ensure equal access for everyone.



Specialized services are available in the Atlanta region to provide transportation to people with special needs, including older adults, disabled and low-income residents. The region’s Human Services Transportation (HST) system offers a range of options, including public transit, carpooling and vanpooling, and taxis and ride sharing services.

Voucher programs subsidize curb-to-curb trips to make them more affordable to the user. ARC has used Federal Transit Administration funding to support these programs.
Paratransit services provide transportation for people with disabilities, complementing fixed-route transit systems. This service is typically available to anyone living within a ¾-mile buffer on either side of a bus route or rail line.
Human Service Agencies in the Atlanta region provide curb-to-curb service, typically for specific purposes such as medical appointments. Organizations that provide these services include the Department of Human Services, Department of Community Health, Department of Veternas Affairs and county-based senior service agencies.
Volunteer driver programs, in which volunteers use their own vehicles to provide rides to people who need them – particularly in areas where transit is not available or when curb-to-curb service is required.
woman getting off of the Golden Shuttle at a stop

The Golden Shuttle provides older adults with more options for getting around DeKalb County. The shuttle service, originally a pilot program of ARC’s Aging & Health Resources Division, provides flexible routing to help older adults to access the services they need.

By the Numbers

…of people in the Atlanta region who may be in need of specialized transportation services

trips provided each year through volunteer driver and voucher programs in the Atlanta region

number of annual visitors to the Simply Get There trip planning website



The Atlanta region is embracing the idea of transit-oriented developments (TOD), which typically include a pedestrian-friendly mix of housing, office and retail or other amenities build around transit stops, such as a MARTA rail station. Successful TODs can increase transit ridership, reduce household driving, and improve access to jobs for low-income residents and working families.

TOD projects also benefit from ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative, a program that provides grants for planning and transportation projects that promote the creation of more walkable communities with better access to jobs, services and transit. Of MARTA’s 38 rail stations, 35 are in LCI study areas.

Potential MARTA TOD projects include:

A 7.7-acre surface parking lot on the south side of the station is being redeveloped to include 378 market rate apartments, 92 affordable senior housing units, 41,500 square feet of retail, and 34 condos.

Surface parking at the Edgewood-Candler Park station is being been redeveloped into a mixed-use project featuring apartments, green space, street-level retail and cultural space.

A 2-acre closed parking lot across the street from the station has been redeveloped with a mix of office, retail and green space.

Plans call for 400 apartments, 80 affordable housing units, and 10,000 square feet of retail on a 4-acre property near the King Memorial station.

Conceptual rendering of TOD at Oakland City MARTA station in southwest Atlanta

Conceptual rendering of TOD at Oakland City MARTA station in southwest Atlanta

PLAN IN ACTION: Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

Rendering of planned development at the King Memorial MARTA station

Rendering of planned development at the King Memorial MARTA station

An effort is underway to ensure that the TOD projects being built near MARTA rail stations are developed in an equitable fashion that address the needs of the entire community. The goal is to foster mixed-income communities that offer affordable housing options and access to jobs and other amenities, such as fresh, healthy food, for residents of all income levels.

To promote equitable TOD in the Atlanta region, a group of government agencies, businesses and nonprofit groups, including MARTA, ARC and Enterprise Community Partners, came together to create the TransFormation Alliance, with funding provided by the Ford Foundation. Equitable TOD seeks to achieve:

  • Increases in property values without displacing the residents who would most benefit from the increase
  • Greater economic opportunity by creating easier access for low and moderate income households

A balance between return on investment for private investors and equity goals

By the Numbers

…of MARTA’s 38 MARTA rail stations are located in Livable Centers Initiative planning areas.

… jobs that exist along the MARTA rail network.

…of the income of a metro Atlanta household earning less than $50,000 goes to combined housing and transportation costs.

 It is the policy of ARC to:

  • Maintain and expand transportation options that serve the region’s most
    vulnerable populations
  • Improve connectivity around transit stations and bus stops for all users
  • Increase funding for Human Services Transportation (HST) and Medicaid
    transportation services
  • Increase access to areas with essential services, including healthcare, education, recreation, entertainment and commercial retailPrioritize